Bradley University Theatre closes their 2011 season with "America Live!"
The production is a unique and interesting multi-media event.
Rooted in America's current obsession with reality television, the show is audience-interactive and live-streamed on the internet during the entire production.
The premise is that we are on the set of a live TV show. Theater patrons may choose any level of involvement in the interactive aspect of the show.
They can opt to simply watch the show as passive viewers.
They can register their cell phones for voting.
Or they can choose to participate directly as members of the cast, members of security, part of the technical crew, or even the janitorial staff.
Indeed, it soon becomes unclear just who is an actor and who is not; what is scripted and what is ad lib.
And obviously that is the point here. Written and directed by Slane Scholar in Residence Jeff Wirth, this play intentionally blurs the lines between theater and reality, between stage and audience.
The result is an interesting theater experience that is definitely out of the norm. While I was expecting a more profound statement on voting and politics in America, I was not disappointed to receive instead a funny and high-energy comment on the "reality" of America and American television.
Some of the funniest bits are the pre-recorded television commercials.
One of the commercials includes a music video that is professional quality and simply delightful.
If you are looking for a show that is funny, smart, and truly innovative, then this is one you should not miss.
The show is produced in collaboration with Bradley University's Department of Interactive Media and runs through May 1st at the Hartmann Center for the Performing Arts.